Interactive learning materials

Interactive learning materials are interactive resources designed to teach a specific learning outcome. They may comprise of a single or multiple pages that can contain any combination of text, images, audio, video - including screencasts, animations, self test questions and other interactive activities. They are usually aimed for self study and delivered via Blackboard, but can also be made available online on different platforms.

Interactive learning materials can be provided as supplementary resources or as an integral part of a core activity, e.g. a prerequisite to attend a time tabled seminar. Because of the benefits they offer (see next section), they are becoming common place within both programmes of learning and on a number of support service web sites.

Support

Individual consultations with a member of the Digital Education Office and/or workshops on request.

Advantages

Reasons to consider providing online tutorials for students (and staff) include:
  • Allow learners to study in their own time and at their own pace
  • Provide scalable (cost effective) and flexible training for staff
  • Ensure learners have a baseline knowledge in particular subjects – e.g. incoming first-year students who have varying levels of prior knowledge
  • Teach the more straight forward factual aspects of your subject, therefore freeing contact time for more complex or contested ideas
  • Prepare students for lectures or lab work
  • Facilitate consolidation and revision
  • Cover aspects of the curriculum which are not covered in the time tabled part of the course
  • Address time table clashes
  • Support distance learning
  • Enable students to practice skills learnt in class, e.g. language listening skills using audio, self test questions and feedback, or medical diagnosis skills by providing videos of patients describing their symptoms accompanied with self test questions and feedback.

Getting started

If you wish to develop your interactive learning materials for your learners, we advise you to contact us via email or phone to request a consultation. We can help you to develop you ideas and provide advice and training in:

  • Best practice
  • Effective design
  • Appropriate authoring tools
  • Delivery options

Note: It is sometimes possible to purchase commercial interactive learning materials on specific topics. If funds are available it might be worth looking to see if there is anything on the market that suits your needs before spending time building your own. However, it is rare to find commercial interactive learning materials that fully meet your needs. Some commercial licences allow you to tailor the materials to an extent, but it is often the case that by the time you have done this you may have well built a resource in-house.